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Innocent Chukwuma - Cleen

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  • 1. Crime Prevention and Justice Reformfor Effective Armed Violence Reduction: Balancing the Role of Civil Society Presentation by Innocent Chukwuma At the second Ministerial Conference on Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, October 31 – November 1, 2011 1
  • 2. Crime Prevention Initiatives undertaken in Lagos Communica Trust Fund tion and for safety emergency and response security Community dialogue Urban and renewal partnership City Job transport Creation system 2
  • 3. Official Statistics and Surveys Reports on Violent Crime in Lagos Homicide recorded by police Robbery recorded by police 230 235250 250200 175 165 200150 150100 100 66 50 50 50 0 0 Mar 07 - Feb 08 March 08 - Feb 09 March 09 - Feb 10 March 07 - Feb 08 March 08 - Feb 09 March 09 - Feb 10 Homicide Robbery 0.70% 3% 0.60% 3% 3% 0.50% 0.60% 2% 0.40% 2% 2% 0.30% 1% 0.20% 0.30% 1% 0.10% 0% 0.00% 2007 2009 2007 2009 3
  • 4. Adversarial Relationship Between Police and DoctorsContest• Section 4(2) of Nigerian Robbery and Firearms Act, 1990, obliges any person, hospital or clinic that admits, treats, or administers any drug to any person suspected of having bullet wounds to immediately report the matter to the police. Failure to do so is an offense punishable by 5 years imprisonment and closure of affected hospital or clinic.Impact• Police harassment of doctors in private hospitals that provide emergency care to victims of gun violence.• Delays and refusal of hospitals (especially private ones) to provide emergency treatment and care to victims of gun violence until police report is obtained by family members/friends, which is a major contributor to high mortality rate in gun violence in Nigeria.Intervention by CLEEN Foundation• Facilitation of meeting between Nigeria medical association and the Police in Lagos, which led to a joint declaration against the practice and establishment of hotlines for reporting infractions.• Bill in parliament to oblige doctors to provide emergency treatment to provide emergency care to trauma victims without police interference. 4
  • 5. Draconian laws against Gun violence may be counter productiveContest• Section 2(2) of Robbery and Firearms Act, 1990, states that if any offender is armed with any firearms or any offensive weapon or is in company with any other person so armed ... the offender shall upon conviction .. Be sentenced to life imprisonment.• Section 7(1) empowers police officers to arrest without warrant any person reasonably suspected of having committed robbery or about to commit robbery to use such force, including the use of firearms, as may be reasonably necessary to effect the arrest or prevent an escape.Impact• Anecdotal evidence suggest that the use of lethal force in robbery is becoming a permanent feature of Nigerian society partly arguable as a result the fact that the Robbery and Firearms Act does not give room for robbery suspects to negotiate the severity of punishment they would get if caught because mere possession of firearms in robbery operation is as capital an offense as using it under the Act.Intervention• It is necessary to conduct research in Nigeria and other developing countries with similar laws to determine the correlation between such draconian anti-robbery laws and increasing use of lethal force in robberies. 5
  • 6. Thank You! 6

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